The Optimal Performance Guide podcast

The Optimal Performance Guide

Rory Cordial

Conversations with high level humans in order to provide clear guidance to the mindset and habits required for optimal performance. Welcome and thank you for listening!

19 Episodes

  • The Optimal Performance Guide podcast

    David Spiegel- The powerful tool of self hypnosis


    Dr. David Spiegel is Willson Professor and Associate Chair of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Director of the Center on Stress and Health, and Medical Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has been a member of the academic faculty since 1975, and was Chair of the Stanford University Faculty Senate from 2010-2011. Dr. Spiegel has more than 40 years of clinical and research experience studying psycho-oncology, stress and health, pain control, psychoneuroendocrinology, sleep, hypnosis, and conducting randomized clinical trials involving psychotherapy for cancer patients. He has published thirteen books, 404 scientific journal articles, and 170 book chapters on hypnosis, psychosocial oncology, stress physiology, trauma, and psychotherapy. His research has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Fetzer Institute, the Dana Foundation for Brain Sciences, and the Nathan S. Cummings Foundation. He was a member of the work groups on stressor and trauma-related disorders for the DSM-IV and DSM-5 editions of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. He is Past President of the American College of Psychiatrists and the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine.Research publications: Reveri Health Trance and Treatment 4:20 Philosophy major before med school. “What’s fundamental to the way we think?”6:20 Lessons from the Dalai Lama10:00 Emotions- child vs adult13:00 Hypnosis- western equivalent to mindfulness in many ways14:40 Difference between mindfulness and hypnosis15:50 fMRI results with hypnosis and mindfulness20:00 3 stages of hypnosis23:35 Reveri hypnosis app29:00 Self-hypnosis32:15 Modulate pain with hypnosis38:00 Athletes control domain of awareness42:30 Stanford women’s swim team45:30 Inverse functionality in the brain47:50 Hypnosis to quit smoking and addiction52:00 Habit change and hypnosis59:45 Unconscious/subconscious1:02:00 Child mind1:05:40 L frontal theta dominant in hypnosis1:10:30 ACL tear rehab1:11:24 PTSD/trauma treatment1:15:00 Finding a hypnosis expert1:18:25 Learning more about hypnosis
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    James Blake- The road to mastery- paved with discipline and hard work


    Ok guys today we sit down with my good friend James Blake.James is a former professional tennis player with a career high ranking of 4 in the world.I’m excited for you to meet James because he is one of my favorite people on this planet.In this episode we explore the concept of mastery.  James shares his own journey to mastery in the sport of tennis and the extreme level of commitment and discipline required to get there.This hour flew by for me.  I was left inspired by James strong passion to be great as well as his gratitude and perspective on life.I hope you find this episode inspiring and enjoyable.  Thanks as always for listening and the support!Find James…Website page Donate to his foundation supporting cancer research... Read his books…Breaking back: how I lost everything and won back my life of grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together
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    Louis Rosenberg- How "Swarm Intelligence" amplifies human potential


    Ok guys today we sit down with Louis Rosenberg.Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs….I would not be surprised for future generations to be referencing the brilliance of Louis Rosenberg in the same light.He is an innovator and by that I mean he sees things before they happen.  Not only does he think outside the box and see what could be…but he also makes that vision come into our physical reality.  To be able to see it…and then do it.  Talk about two simple concepts but very few ppl on the planet have done what Louis has done.In this conversation we get into his journey starting as a kid from Long Island, NY…how he was diagnosed with dyslexia but instead of dwelling on the difficulties of that dx he really leaned into the creative doors that it allowed his mind to open.  Which leads us into his journey West to study at Stanford where he gets his PhD… and then its an exploration of his path thus far… starting companies, creating technology, writing screen plays that have turned into films, and books….We talk about his latest endeavor which I personally am very excited about called Unanimous AI.  This part of the conversation begins around min 52 for anyone that likes to listen out of order.Unanimous AI is fascinating because Louis invented the technology to allow humans to leverage the swarm intelligence that is present in Nature.  The possibilities and potential positive contributions to humanity that will come out of this technology is really exciting.People are smart. We want to connect. We want to belong and contribute to something greater than ourselves in a positive way.  Louis leaned into these truths and listened to nature to build us a technology to access a collective super intelligence.  Thank you sir!Find Louis:Unanimous AI The graphic novel Mind about in show:Ted Talk AI case Studies: Sports forecastingStanford RadiologistMiami Heat season ticket holder perksXprizeUnited Nations predict food insecurity
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    Jack Feldman- The science and rhythm of breath


    Jack Feldman is a Brooklyn, NY native with his PhD in Physics and is a Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology at UCLA.  According to my friend and previous guest Andrew Huberman “Jack is the world leader in all things breathing” so who better to talk to about this amazing gift of breath than Jack.Jack discovered an area in the brain stem that is responsible for the rhythm of breath which he named the pre-Botzinger complex.  He is a world leader into the discovery of the answer to this simple question…“How is the very basic rhythm of breathing generated?”In this episode we explore Jacks journey to answer this simple sounding question and he shares a lot of valuable information and insights into how our respiration impacts our health and optimal performance….including how the breath prepares the body for exercise before it even begins…why HIIT works…and very interesting findings with episodic hypoxia training.I really enjoyed talking with Jack and I hope you find value in our conversation.  Thanks as always for tuning in and supporting the show!Topics covered:the physics journey of space and timepivot to study the breathphysiology of breathhow is the very basic rhythm of breath generatedpre botzinger complexsync of fireflies in nature like our breath neural activationevolutionary look at breathembryology and breathanatomy of breathexercise activate active expiration oscillatorHRV and how variance required for optimal healthbreathing rhythm found throughout entire brainlab mantra “you can’t do anything interesting if you’re afraid of failing”time scale of breath and learningsleep apnea science and treatmentpower of napping and mindfulness on our healthbreathing and emotion researchhow breathing can interrupt depression patternsthe importance of oscillations in communication across the brainrespiratory rate variance is keycellular respirationwhy HIIT is effectivethe performance benefits of episodic hypoxiaFind Jack:Linkedin scholar Huberman and Jack Feldman convo on instagram was a live recorded conversation all about the neuroscience of breathing, its relationship to emotion, depression, opioids, and a lot more. Thank you Jack for joining me for this very stimulating and informative conversation!5 min audio from BBC interview on how the name of pre-Botzinger complex came about
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    Andrew Huberman- The neuroscience of creativity


    Today’s show is a special one for me.  I have been looking forward to sitting down with my good friend Andrew Huberman and today is the day.Also this is our first sponsored episode which I couldn’t be more grateful and proud to align with.  The company is Madefor.  For those of you who are regular listeners..first thank you! Thank you for being curious about your own personal formula for optimal performance and just living your best life and 2nd if you’re new to the show welcome! One of the Madefor co-founders and former Navy SEAL Pat Dossett was on the show in an earlier episode so check that out.  Pat is a very inspiring human so I’m confident it will be worth your time.ok what is Madefor? it’s a 10-month program that delivers the essential science, tools, steps and support to help you live better.In a world of quick fixes and fads, Madefor stands apart.Co-founded by a former Navy SEAL and built alongside a team of world class experts, Madefor delivers a science based approach to personal growth.So, if you feel like you’ve gone off track, you’re being overrun by life or you’re just ready to up your game and take back control, let Madefor be your guide and get started today. Visit to learn more and use my personal code MFRory for 20% off the entire program or follow them on Instagram at @Madefor team.Thank you Madefor!Ok what can I say about Andrew?  He has his PhD in Neuroscience. He’s a tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine.  He has his own lab at Stanford ..(Huberman Lab) where he has 2 main focuses. 1.  working to halt and reverse vision loss and 2. How Visual perception and ANS arousal states are integrated and impact behavior.So obviously he is super smart and driven…but what really makes Andrew special is he cares deeply about people.  He is a big strong guy on the outside but on the inside has a huge heart and really goes out of his way to help others.Many of you listening will have heard Andrew before because he has done almost every major podcast out there. He has a great Instagram channel where he shares all kinds of actionable knowledge about neuroscience so definitely check that out if you haven’t already.In this episode we talk about all kinds of topics neuroscience and performance related but really emphasize and dive deep into creativity, and how the relationship between time and space and our sense perceptions shape our reality.Ok enough talking let’s get to the show!Topics covered:sense perception shapes our physical worldsound heard in headphones vs roomvision acuity center vs peripherycontrast between various animals and human sensesspace-time link to the nervous systemhow we can think in various sensesneuroplasticitydiving birds, elephant, sloth, naked mole rat, pit vipersbrain has homunculus in cortex and cerebellumhumans have magneto-receptorslimitations on researchbrain-organs (heart, gut, etc)-body integrationembryologyzebra fishmotor learningspeed of information propagated thru the bodydeep dive into the neuroscience of creativityinfluence of breath (respiration) on ANShow to leverage creativity to nurture relationshipsexplore the realm of possibility in terms of human connectionalert vs calm or sympathetic vs parasympathetic statesentrainment (sync) in the nervous systembrain is a prediction machinehow magicians can make you blind to what is in front of youbinural beatsHRVNobel prizehow creativity maps to parts of the dayhow to leverage neuroscience to maximize creativityConnect with Andrew…Instagram Lab
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    Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary- the science of sound medicine


    Our guest today is Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary.  She was born in India but left at the age of 4 to relocate with her family in the US.  Her path led her to become a medical doctor specializing in Neurology and the director of Wellspring health in Scripps Memorial Hospital for ten years.  Luckily for us, she became sick, which sounds bad I know, but as pills and traditional treatment was not working she looked to Ayurvedic medicine and meditation which quickly brought her back to health.  From this point on she hasn’t looked back and is a pioneer bridging the worlds of ancient Indian traditions and medicine to modern science.She is currently decoding and researching ancient Siddha texts and medicine which very few people on the planet have had access to.  Specific frequencies and vibrations of sound delivered thru mantras and instruments have been essential to our health in for thousands of years in these traditions and we are just starting to have science match up and offer explanations for how this is possible.She recently released her second book “Sound medicine” which is an amazing journey thru the current science of sound and how it maps to Ayurvedic  and western medicine.  I love that Kulreet is so grounded in science but also open to what science has yet to be able to uncover.She is an absolute light in this world and doing important work that has far reaching potential.  This was a really fun conversation so I hope you enjoy!We talk about:-the bridge between western medicine and eastern practices-spiritual growth-the science of quantum physics, biology, biofields, etc-healing aspect of nature (ocean, forest)-healing thru the lens of Ayurveda, sound, ancient siddha and Vedic texts-mantra meditation-chakras and the nervous system-subtle energy fields in the body-heart electromagnetic field-devotion vs love-how to access higher states of consciousness-detox the physical and emotional body-shift from receiving to creating More info:Dr Kulreet Chaudhary website Twitter Book- Sound medicine Book- The Prime: Prepare and Repair Your Body for Spontaneous Weight Loss Link to Dosha quiz
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    Spiros Michalakis- quantum entanglement, empathy, and why "change" is fundamental


    Spiros is a great guy and absolutely brilliant! I heard him on my friend Gabby Reece’s podcast and loved their conversation so I was thrilled he agreed to be on the show. is a mathematical physicist at Caltech’s Institute of quantum information and matter (IQIM). His research focuses on the physical and mathematical mechanisms underlying the emergence of space–time. He manages IQIM’s outreach program so is actively involved in teaching and interacting with the community.  He also consults with Hollywood on blockbuster films to ensure an accurate representation of quantum physics. For example Marvels ant man series, captain marvel and most recently bill and ted face the music. Earlier I mentioned brilliant….well in 1998 a list of 13 open problems in mathematical physics was created…Spiros and his post doc partner Hastings solved one of these problems which took 10 years before it was fully understood and recognized as solved.  Its the only problem fully solved on the list. cover:-The master algorithm-Quantum entanglement-Why humans are infinite-Space and time-Empathy-The biggest illusion in our world-The most fundamental thing in our universe-What is the soul-Is a fate real-Black holes-The power of science-Why love is fundamental to humans Links:Instagram
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    Nick Winkelman-How language can enhance performance


    Ok guys it is a pleasure to have my friend Nick Winkelman on the show today.Nick is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to optimizing human performance so I am very excited to share this conversation with you. Nick is currently living in Dublin, Ireland where he is the head of athletic performance & science for the Irish Rugby Football Union. Before working for Irish Rugby, Nick was the director of education and training systems for EXOS (formerly Athletes' Performance), which is a global leader in performance training and education.  As the director of education, Nick oversaw the development and execution of all internal and external educational initiatives. As a performance coach, he oversaw the speed and assessment component of the NFL Combine and supported many professional athletes and elite Military.Nick completed his PhD in philosophy with a focus on motor learning and sprinting. He is a international speaker and consultant on human performance and coaching science and has numerous book chapters and peer reviewed papers focusing on the intersection between coaching language and athlete learning.Nick recently released his first book titled “The Language of coaching” which is a deep dive into the science and art of utilizing our language to best serve our athletes.This conversation is heavy on coaching athletes but the principles discussed are universal…so whether you are a coach, teacher, trainer, yoga instructor, CEO or athlete…whatever your profession I think you will take valuable insights with you because language is key to effective communication.  And good communication is everything!  Some topics discussed are: how to enhance focus, attention and memoryhow “being present” reflects your “presence” how to enhance recovery while you trainhow injury changes your focus and performancewhy external cuing wins when it comes to performancehow to navigate a “high pressure” moment for best resultsflow stateand the best life advice ever received “give it all away because it will come back to you”More on Nick…The BookThe Language of Coaching education videos mentioned:Gabriele WulfAttention and Motor Skill Learning Gray
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    Rudy Tanzi- Science, Soul and the intention to Serve


    Find More about Rudy:Twitter Ted talk- Curing Alzheimer’s with Science and Song Instagram - doesn’t really use it Brain Genes The Healing Self. Mentioned in podcast:Rudy’s music Perry, Francis Collins and Rudy Tanzi perform "The Times They Are A-Changin" on Capitol Hill Companies:The Marvel Biome Pharmaceuticals alzheimers fund
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    Ben Bruno- Consistent basic training over time gets results


    Beyond that some things we talk about are:-taking risks and being willing to fail-changes Covid19 has had on his training-the power of understanding and performing the basics well-some common misconceptions about strength training for women-training principles such as strength vs power; speed and agility; cardio or energy systems development-the importance of communication when on a team-workout structure and time And some exciting things that Ben is working on right now. Find Ben...Instagram Online training Product of a strong women t shirt Twitter Mentioned:Dan John Mike Boyle

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